I'm currently finishing up the speedskating season, and in a few weeks will enter a two-week active rest period (where I will not skate at all, scary...) And after that, am going to be doing mostly cross training, with some speed skating mixed in (probably 2 days a week), plus some other general light non-speed skating work a few days a week.
My problem is, even on my light-moderate skating days, I routinely burn 700-800 calories on the ice within just over an hour of speed skating. Speed skating by nature is interval based, and so it relies very minimally on fat burning for its energy supply, and therefore takes most of its energy from muscle glycogen.
Now, I understand the muscles and liver combined can store around 2000 calories of glycogen (I may be wrong there), but from full glycogen depletion (unless you consume a high-carbohydrate, moderate protein shake within a short time after the workout), it takes about 48 hours to completely restore your muscle glycogen.
That'd be no big deal if I was only working out every other day or so, but my off-ice routine is 6 days a week with one active rest day. Most (almost all) of my off-ice is also non-distance based, and relies on glycogen (or phosphagen for shorter, high-power ones) as well.
Now, restoring muscle glycogen from fat takes a LONG time, and it seems that within a week I'd be in a constantly glycogen-depleted state (since the nature of my exercises rely on glycogen for fuel).
I can deal with a slightly glycogen-depleted state during the off-season, but not a highly-depleted, and definitely cannot handle it during the competitive season (heavy training on-ice will start around August).
To compensate for this, when I've got a 3-day in a row cycle of skating, I'll consume approximately 100g of maltodextrin with approximately 20-25g of whey protein drink, in 1L of water. I'll drink half of it within 10-15 minutes after the workout, and sip the rest for an hour or so. This has the effect of spiking insulin to cause the muscles to store glycogen (which is another effect of insulin's energy storage properties, beyond fat storage). The spike in insulin (and the inclusion of 20g protein) also serve to prevent muscle catabolism, which is prevalent after a workout as well.
I guess my two questions are as follows: 1) If I followed the zone eating plan, what would be the effect of a deviation from it immediately following a workout (with the 100+g carb shot to replenish glycogen), and then 2 hours after the workout, getting right back into the swing of things?
2) I understand that only the liver can process glycogen from fructose, which is the dominant carb source in fruits. I understand that very little carbs from fruits are utilized by muscles, and therefore if glycogen is going to make it to the muscles, it must first get processed in the liver until the liver is full, then (maybe) some is either carried by the bloodstream to the muscles, or the liver says "I'm full" and if you've eaten too many carbs from fruits (to try to make up for burned ones during exercise), it converts the excess fructose into fat, despite the fact that the muscles are starving for glycogen?